• Blue Footed Boobie Fernandina Island | © Shutterstock

introducing galapagos safaris

The Galapagos Islands are an ancient archipelago like no other place on earth, achieving an almost mythical status as one of the top natural world destinations on the planet. They are home to an unmatched abundance of wildlife; a place where sea lions frolic on honey-coloured beaches, marine iguanas clumsily forage for tasty algae, and a foray into the frothy waters that pound the rocky coastline will see you snorkelling with hammerheads, green turtles, manta rays, and more. Each of the 19 major islands that make up the Galapagos archipelago feature their own natural world highlights. 

Sea Lion Rabida Island

Galapagos Island Highlights

Red Beaches: Visiting the red beaches of the red island, Rabida, heavily populated with sea lions.

Birdwatching: On Isabela, the largest island, is home to vast numbers of bird species including flamingos and penguins.

Dancing Flamingos: Visiting Cormorant Bay on Floreana in June or July to see vast flocks of flamingos mating and doing synchronised dancing.

Gardner Bay: Walking along the golden sands of Gardner Bay, renowned for sea lions, marine iguanas and great snorkelling.

Encountering Marine Iguanas: On Fernandina Island, you’ll find the largest colony of marine iguanas.

Clumsy Penguins: Climbing the 360 steps to the top of Bartholomew Island to see the different volcanic cones and spotting penguins at Pinnacle Rock.

Amazing landscapes, Galapagos Islands

Why we like the Galapagos Islands

Experiencing these mesmerising islands is to enjoy one of the top natural world experiences on the planet, and they are fast becoming one of our wildlife favourites.

Amazing activities: Swim with sea lions, walk with marine iguanas and explore volcanic cones.

Close encounters: The wildlife here is not afraid of humans, so you can get incredibly close without disturbing it.

Unique landscapes: Each of the islands is unique, with different flora and fauna to explore, a journey through the islands is one big adventure.


Most Galapagos safari holidays start in Quito, Ecuador. Sitting high in the Andean foothills it is far more than just a gateway to the Galapagos. Characterful Spanish colonial buildings line cobbled streets and the principal square is as good a spot as any to enjoy a slow coffee while planning how to divide your time here; from a ride on the world’s second highest cable car on the flanks of the active Pichincha Volcano to gorging yourself at the food carts in Parque La Carolina. From ancient Inca Trail routes to world-class museums and galleries Quito is more than just a transfer point and we’ll help you make the most of your time here.

It’s just a short two-hour flight on to the Galapagos Islands and your adventure will typically begin in Santa Cruz, home to the popular Charles Darwin Research Centre. For those staying on dry land it’s here you’ll find the Galapagos Safari Camp. Set on a 55-hectare farm with views over the Pacific Ocean the accommodation is styled on an African tented safari lodge while a secluded infinity pool adds to the understated touch of luxury the camp offers.

From Santa Cruz you can enjoy private land-based activities, take a boat to the uninhabited neighbouring islands, take to the skies for an aerial view of the Galapagos in a small propeller plane or join a longer cruise which vary from 3 to 14 nights.

Galapagos Islands Holidays

What to expect and why we do it differently

According to statistics, a total of 215,691 tourists visited the Galapagos during 2014. Most visitors will typically experience similar multi-day tours, itineraries enforced by national park regulations, and, dare we say it, an exercise in ticking off the various species the islands are famous for.

At Natural World Safaris we like to do things a little differently, getting off the beaten track for extraordinary wildlife encounters in tune with the natural environment, visiting as true explorers, and keeping our human footprint on this unique environment to a minimum.

How do we achieve this? We work with the best vessels to ensure you have access to superior guiding services and mix up traditional cruises with land-based options to create a different focus to the many run-of-the-mill ship-based itineraries on offer. Our Galapagos safaris offer the opportunity to explore ancient volcanic lava tunnels, wander through Jurassic-style swamps inhabited by ancient tortoises up to 5 foot in length, and visit beaches unmarked by footsteps. Avoiding the tourist trail you'll be able to experience the Galapagos in solitude. We carefully select ships based on the time of year of travel, the islands they visit, and the composition of your party to ensure you get a complete experience and don't miss any of the wildlife highlights this extraordinary destination has to offer. 

Allow yourself to be carried away under the romance of wind-filled sails under the rays of the equatorial sun or relax in the on-deck hot tub of a luxury motorised yacht as you explore the islands on the water as Charles Darwin did.

Cta Grid

Why book with us

We are destination specialists

Our team of specialists have extensive on-the-ground knowledge and have all lived, guided or explored in great detail the destinations that they sell. They will design your journey around you, at the right place at the right time.

We are wildlife specialists

As a leading specialist operator we have excellent partnerships with naturalists and conservationists. We know our wildlife and do what we can to preserve its natural habitat.

We really care about our destinations

At Natural World Safaris we frequently monitor the social, economic and environmental impact of our travel operations to ensure we are at the forefront of a sustainable and ethical tourism industry. 

Galapagos Family Trip - Will Bolsover - Penguin

Your Next Steps

View our Galapagos Islands safaris, or talk to one of our specialists for more details on travelling to the Galapagos Islands. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.